Simpson could support ‘clean’ resolution to reopen government — for a week or two

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson is among 16 Republicans backing a bill to reopen the government without Democrats agreeing to defund or postpone Obamacare,  Aaron Blake of the Washington Post reported Wednesday afternoon.

With 232 Republicans and 200 Democrats in the House, Simpson’s support means “we are now on the precipice of a majority of the House supporting a ‘clean’ continuing resolution” to fund the government,”says the Post.

Simpson’s statement was reported Wednesday in a tweet by Roll Call’s Daniel Newhauser, who said Simpson told him Tuesday night: “I’d vote for a clean CR, because I don’t think this is a strategy that works. I think the strategy that works is on the debt ceiling.” (We’ve turned the tweet into proper English for clarity.)

But Simpson’s office backed away from the Post’s interpretation, making it clear Simpson wasn’t about to be part of a small cadre of Republicans to vote with Democrats to pass a budget.  His office issued a statement Wednesday saying Simpson supported the GOP majority’s strategy:

“Let me be clear, I am going to continue to support the position of our Republican Caucus in the ongoing shutdown dispute. Having said that, similar to Senator Rand Paul, I could support a very short-term clean CR, perhaps one or two weeks, while we continue to negotiate on a longer-term bill that addresses priorities we believe are important.”

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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